A Year in the Vineyard
Kelly Woods - Wine Maker
As winemaker at a family owned and operated winery, my role allows me to touch all aspects of the operations. Owning estate vineyards allows me to walk the land, know the vines, the grapes they produce, and translate that knowledge into the wines we produce.
The moments that occur in the vineyards throughout the year are all interconnected to the quality of grapes that are produced. We wanted to highlight all these moments to you throughout the year so you can visualize all we do here at Burgess Cellars to ensure we bring to you, the highest quality mountainside wine possible.
Blending trials and blending of previous, not current vintage. Walk the vineyards with the crew and begin pruning all the while hoping for rain!
Property maintenance and repairs including tightening vineyard wires in preparation for new growth. In the cellar we rack and return the current vintage in the barrels, get wines off “heavy lees” and refreshed.
Bud break! A new vintage on the horizon! Continue current vintage maintenance, lots of facility cleaning. Generally slower in the cellar in March.
Towards the end of the month we get to see the vines bloom and develop masses of tiny flowers – each expressing the potential of a grape berry. Exciting times for us here at Burgess Cellars, although on the Valley floor nerves jangle with the threat of frost that can literally ‘shatter’ dreams.
Walking the vineyards, I look out for the dropping of the flower petals as the tiny immature grapes begin to emerge and develop into the form we all know. At Burgess Cellars, we now look forward to the sun working its magic and begin the slow ripening of the grapes.
Bottling is always a very exciting time for me as a winemaker. It’s like sending your kids off to college…you hope you’ve prepared them enough for the future and can’t help but be incredibly proud of what you’ve produced.
More bottling, cluster growth in vineyard. Berries getting larger, still hard and green.
Calm before the storm, veraison in clusters; color change, sugar accumulation.
Harvest time – say goodbye to the significant other for the next eight weeks. Lots of vineyard sampling (walking all blocks, tasting berries, checking for flavors and ripeness). Picking begins generally mid-September.
Finish picking and fermenting, fermentation management includes pump overs and punch downs, draining and pressing, barrel work. Vineyards starting to shut down.
In the cellar time with final drain and press. Move wine to barrels, vineyards nearly completely shut down and leaves falling.
VACATION! Much needed for hard working vineyard and winery staff. Wine are all tucked away and resting in barrel, beginning the aging and maturation process. Vineyards are completely free of leaves and fully dormant.